Contratopia is a contra dance band composed of two musicians from Minnesota and two from northeast Iowa. Erik Sessions (fiddle), Patrice Pakiz (piano, oboe, percussion), Pat O'Loughlin (english concertina and banjo) and John Goodin (mandolin and guitar) began playing together in late 1999 and decided that the rewards of working together outweighed the challenges of geographical separation. Many groups of dancers have enjoyed Contratopia's unique musical approach at events from Montana to Florida and the band anticipates continuing to share their enthusiasm for jigs, reels and waltzes with dancers for a long time to come.
The group has played frequently for dances in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and has completed several tours of the mid-Atlantic region playing in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Glen Echo and Frederick, MD, Shepherdstown, WV and Richmond and Bluemont, Virginia. The band has also enjoyed successful short tours of North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. Contratopia has been the featured band at dance weekends in Flordia, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin, Iowa and North Carolina and has played for workshops in Scandinavian dance, English Country Dance and general couples dancing. In addition to live performance the band has recorded four CDs: Riff City (2014), Smitten (2004)& Hands Four (2001), are collections of mostly original reels, jigs and waltzes. Ballroom Echoes (2002) is a collection of mostly original waltzes. Occasionally the band ventures into the hinterlands of Winneshiek County, Iowa to play concerts and dances in Decorah, where Erik and John make their homes.
Suggested donation: $10
Friday, April 9: 7:00 pm